At Robin Hood Restaurant, the Rich Pay So the Poor Can Eat for Free
"I want them to eat with the same dignity as any other customer," says its proprietor.
At Robin Hood restaurant in downtown Madrid, a lunch reservation has become one of the most sought-after in the country—but dinner is something entirely different.
The month-old restaurant offers free dinner service every night to the city's homeless population, reports NPR's All Things Considered. Unlike at the average soup kitchen or shelter, those in need get restaurant-quality meals in a sophisticated setting.
"I want them to eat with the same dignity as any other customer. And the same quality, with glasses made of crystal, not plastic, and in an atmosphere of friendship and conversation," says Father Ángel Garcia Rodriguez, the 80-year-old Catholic priest who runs the restaurant. Padre Ángel, as he's known by the community, also founded Messengers of Peace, a local charity that has also converted one of Madrid's abandoned churches into the only 24-hour community center in the city.
In order to fund these free-of-charge dinners, the restaurant sells breakfast and lunch in the traditional manner and uses the profits to provide food to the needy at night. Paid lunch reservations have become so sought-after that the restaurant is fully booked through March.